|Hail to the Chief?|
|Persons of interest|
|Some dare call it|
|What THEY don't want|
you to know!
The CIA, or Central Intelligence Agency is the arm of the United States government in charge of doing anything other than assisting with the rest of the world's movement towards fully transparent democratic governments and thriving free market economies.
Piece of advice: Never refer to a CIA employee as an "agent." They are an "officer." The agents are the ones giving information to the officers.
The CIA is charged with providing all decision makers in the US with the intelligence needed to do so. It was set up to be the foreign intelligence agency for the United States; however, due to the fragmentary nature of the US political system, there were soon many, many others. Today, the CIA is just one of many intelligence services vying for resources and the attention of policy makers. Until this decade, however, the DCI (Director of Central Intelligence) was still considered the top figure in the intelligence field; after 9/11, Congress passed a law creating a new post above the DCI, the "Director of National Intelligence." In theory, the DNI is above all intelligence agencies, but is instead a (slightly) more glorified and (vastly) more removed Director of Central Intelligence, one more beholden to the White House than the actual CIA; the latter was pissed about this.
CIA and dirty tricks
Essentially, while the FBI is in charge of doing morally bankrupt things to Americans, the CIA is in charge of doing morally bankrupt things to everyone else (this supposed limitation hasn't always stopped them). The CIA admits that they have done some horrible things in the past; however, as justification, they can point to the fact that every covert action they've ever taken was approved by the President and that key members of Congress were always notified. (Some of those members of Congress dispute this.[Who?])
Most of the organisation are paper-pushers, with the majority of their more dastardly actions carried out by a single group, the Special Activities Division, particularly the notorious stars of every other military fiction story, the Special Operations Group (SOG or CIASOG), often in cooperation with various other cool acronyms like DEVGRU, MARSOC, the SEALs, JSOC, SWCC, MSNBC, etc.
Actions known to have been done by the CIA:
- Orchestrating the 1949 Syrian coup, installing a client regime in the interest of constructing the Trans-Arabian Pipeline.
- Conducting unethical and involuntary human experimentation on men, women and children under Project MKULTRA, with such methods as psychological torture, bizarre medical experiments, rape and physical abuse, driving many of them permanently insane.
- Assisting in the rise of Augusto Pinochet by ousting Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973. This is after spending more in 1964 in support of Allende's electoral opponent than was spent on Johnson's and Goldwater's 1964 electoral campaigns combined. The CIA also trained Pinochet's secret police (D.I.N.A.) who tortured and murdered thousands of Chileans
- Giving covert support to Operation Condor, a mass murder campaign initiated by Pinochet in which six South American regimes participated. 400,000 were imprisoned and 80,000 killed or "disappeared". Latin intelligence chiefs communicated through a CIA telecommunications database (CONDORTEL) and were on the CIA payroll.
- Backing Alfredo Stroessner in Paraguay who sheltered and befriended rogue Nazis (including Mengele) and participated in Operation Condor.
- Staging a military coup in Guatemala in 1954. Human rights groups estimate 200,000 were killed and 40-50,000 "disappeared" under successive US-backed regimes. The CIA supported and worked inside a Guatemalan army intelligence unit called G-2 which operated a network of torture centers with crematoriums to dispose of the victims. 
- Removing the democratically elected (although increasingly authoritarian) Mohammad Mossadegh, replacing him with the Shah in Iran, and creating SAVAK (Pahlavi's secret police). The subsequent (26 years later) Iranian Revolution resulted in Pahlavi's defeat and the rule of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
- Supplying weapons to militants in Afghanistan, including (inadvertently and very indirectly) some asshole named Osama.
- Helping out Saddam Hussein in Iraq, up to and including targeting Iranians for Hussein to throw poisonous gas at.
- Working with Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.
- Dozens of actual and planned attempts on Fidel Castro's life, some unbelievably ridiculous, and all of which ended in failure.
- Training the Uruguayan police and military in torture techniques.
- Putting Hamid Karzai in power in Afghanistan.
- Cracking deals with Manuel Noriega in Panama.
- Supplying weapons to militants in Laos.
- Oppressing the people of Greece by planting a military junta and a former Nazi captain-turned-CIA-agent as its head. The junta tortured citizens, made church attendance compulsory, and banned miniskirts.
- Overthrowing President Goulart of Brazil in 1964 and ushering in twenty-one years of repressive military rule. Brazil became notorious for torture and participated in Operation Condor in the 1970s.
- Assisting in the crushing of a popular uprising in the Dominican Republic.
- Installing General Suharto as dictator of Indonesia. Suharto murdered hundreds of thousands (possibly millions) of both his own people and people in territories he annexed and occupied (such as East Timor from 1975-1999).
- Holding Soviet defector Yuri Nosenko in solitary confinement for years.
- Financing a coup in Bolivia by Gen. Hugo Banzer in 1971. The regime was a participant in Operation Condor and human rights reports suggest thousands either tortured, killed or "disappeared."
- Helping the assassination of Rafael Trujillo (which could arguably be considered a good thing).
- Training death squads in Honduras (Battalion 3-16) and creating the very first Banana Republic via Roberto Cordova.
- Fucking over the Democratic Republic of the Congo by helping Belgium to murder the country's democratically elected leader, putting Mobutu Sese Seko in power and supporting a government often referred to as a "kleptocracy" for thirty years, Liberia by funding Samuel Doe's government and then totally ignoring its collapse (and possibly also by murdering President William R. Tolbert, Jr., though evidence is conflicted about that), Somalia by funding assorted warlords and assisting a failed invasion by Ethiopia, and Angola by fighting a proxy war against the Soviet Union and Cuba there.
- Helping Reagan with his sordid Contra affairs.
- Training and funding the secret police of Chadian dictator Hissene Habre (dubbed "Africa's Pinochet" by human rights groups) and lavishing his regime with covert aid as a bulwark against Libya from 1982-1990. A UN-sponsored truth commission holds him responsible for systematic torture and up to 40,000 political murders.
- Following and spying on American citizens, including journalists.
- Sanctioned the use of torture in Abu Ghraib after taking it from Saddam Hussein.
- Dubiously-legal "targeted killing" with drones in the Middle East and on the border of Pakistan.
- Orchestrating the warrantless surveillance and internet monitoring by the NSA, including the early ECHELON system and the later PRISM.
- Creating a laundry list of hacking tools for everything from computers to smart TVs using exploits in operating systems that manufacturers were not informed of and, along with the FBI, demanding software and device manufacturers deliberately insert backdoors for spooks.
- Spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee, though typical of the agency, denying it first.
- Torturing prisoners in the War on Terror.
- Sending prisoners to black sites overseas ("Extraordinary Rendition") to avoid U.S. and international torture laws and conventions.
- Organized the coup that ousted David Lee Roth from Van Halen.
- Ok, at least their World Factbook is pretty good.
- And now they have a Twitter account to keep up with the young'uns.
- As per Karl Inderfurth
- Allan Nairn. The Nation, 4/17/1995
- CIA admits to spying on Senate committee, CNET
- The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on CIA's use of torture.
- CIA Admits Role In 1985 Coup To Oust David Lee Roth, The Onion